Archives for October 2015

Inside Out (DVD) – Meet the Little Voices Inside Your Head

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Our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics have called the new Disney / Pixar film, Inside Out, a “masterpiece” of animation. They love the storyline which explores the bumpy road of pre-teens and the emotions they experience while growing up. It explores the emotions that a young girl, Riley experiences when her family moves cross country and she is torn away from everything that is familiar.  As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in a new city, turmoil ensues with her emotions. Although Riley’s main and most important emotion, Joy tries to keep things positive, her other emotions kick in as she tries to navigate a new city, new house and new school. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Willie J. comments, “We have a masterpiece on our hands. Pixar has done it again… I will gladly go on record by calling this one of the finest animated features to ever be created.” Ryan R. adds, “I love watching Inside Out because it is hilarious and enjoyable for all ages.” Samantha A. concludes with, “Something I really enjoy about this movie is that it’s a childish take on a more complex topic… One thing I learned from this movie is that you don’t always have to be happy. It’s good to express other feelings like sadness or anger.” See their full reviews below.

Inside Out (DVD/Blu-ray/Digital)

by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

 

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a masterpiece on our hands. Pixar has done it again. They already lay claim to two of the top 100 movies of all-time with Up and Wall-E and they have now added Inside Out to their mantelpiece. I will gladly go on record by calling this one of the finest animated features to ever be created. Why? Because it’s THE most innovative, imaginative and creative film to be made since 2008s Synecdoche, New York.

The beautiful thing about this movie is that both adults and children can enjoy it. As a matter of fact, I’d say that adults may enjoy it more, because they can have a more fundamental understanding of what this film is. It is 100 minutes of analogous brilliance, that changes our idea of what goes on in our heads.

Is this idea fathomable or true? No. But the analogy provides the very product film was invented to produce: a stimulation of the imagination.

Children will enjoy the beautiful colors and the basic plot. What the children can understand is what they can relate to: growing up and adjusting to life as they enter puberty. They will laugh at things that SEEM funny or the more, for lack of better word, simple pieces of humor. But the true jokes, the pieces of humor that have the most intellect are the ones children won’t understand. I appreciate those the most because they’re fathomable. It’s the moment when you laugh, not because the joke is ridiculous, but because you can actually imagine that happening.

Amidst the hilarity there is also a certain depth of emotion. There is a tear-jerking moment, yes, but I mean more along the lines of nostalgia. The way the movie portrays the effects of the emotions and the rationalization that go along with them, conjure a desire to reflect on oneself in their pre-teen days. This film may literally get into the mind of a pre-teen, but the metaphorical representation is what seals the reflection. “I was like that?”, “Is that how I thought then…I that how I think now?” may be questions you find yourself asking yourself. These are the effects of a brilliant screenplay.

On a final and personal note, I’ll tell this short story. There is a scene in the film, where two officers are questioning a cloud in Imagination Land about her dead husband. Then, in the middle of the interrogation the cloud herself is killed as she is run through by our main character. One cop goes, “Hey wait…”, but as he says that, the other cop grabs him and says, “Forget it Jake, it’s Cloud Town.” Get it? It’s a parody of the famous final words from the classic 1974 noir, Chinatown. I’ll tell you, it wasn’t very comfortable being the only person in the theater laughing at that joke. It’s just one joke amongst many. Beyond the hilarity and, mainly due to the aforementioned reasons I explained, I happily give this instant classic 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 7 to 18.

This film will be released on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital on November 3 and its bonus features are very informative and engaging. They give wonderful insights to the making of the movie. The feature,  Story of the Story really tells you how much thinking went into this story. Mixed Emotions and Mapping the Mind go hand in hand as they provide both characterizations of the emotions and scientific findings pertaining to our emotions. There are also great features about the underrated parts of making this movie, like how the score was created and what the editing was like.

My favorite of all of them, is the short film Lava which has become one of my favorite short films.

Inside Out (DVD/Blu-ray/Digital)

By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Ryan R., age 11

 

I love watching Inside Out because it is hilarious and enjoyable for all ages. I also like that this movie sends out a positive message on how all five emotions have a role to help Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias).

This film is about five emotions Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. In the movie, Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) and Sadness (Voiced by Phyllis Smith) need to find their way back to headquarters to save Riley from losing her personality and her emotions Joy and Sadness. Will they be able to save Riley or will Riley live a life without Joy and Sadness? If you want to know more you should go get this DVD.

I really like this Blu-ray/DVD combo because there are so many features. There are deleted scenes, trailers for upcoming movies, and many more. My favorite feature on the Blu-ray disc are two shorts. One is about Riley’s first date and it is hilarious and the other is called Lava which is about a lonely volcano. I love the song in that one. I love deleted scenes because I enjoy seeing them explain why a particular scene wasn’t in the final cut of the movie.

I enjoy this film so much because of the talented voice acting. My favorite character is Joy voiced by Amy Poehler.  I love how she portrays the voice of this character and makes the character sound so ecstatic. I like the jokes that her character makes and how she sounds so optimistic. Another reason why she is my favorite character is because she is like me – we are always happy and we both look on the positive side of things. If you need a positive role model, Joy is that!

The moral lesson of this film is that you need to feel every emotion in life. You just can’t be happy in all situations and experiencing each emotion is a good thing. Sadness shows Riley how to be empathetic. Disgust is honest because Disgust tells her whether something is good or not. Fear protects Riley from being hurt. Anger is there to make sure that Riley is not run over. This movie shows how you need to feel all these emotions in order to be a balanced person. It sounds like therapy but it’s not. It’s really fun.

I recommend this to kids ages 3 to 18 and I think adults will  like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like animated family and adventure movies. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend the DVD combo pack for all the extra features it includes.

Inside Out

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

 

When you think of a Disney/Pixar film, you think of a film that resembles a fairy tale story. I am extremely surprised by Inside Out. Not only did it make me laugh and almost cry, but it was intense and the ending was so unexpected.

This, of course, has great comedy that kids of all ages will enjoy and adults as well. However, it isn’t all fun and games. There is a lot of drama in this film, much more than I expected, and there is plenty of action too. But, it is all mixed together very nicely to keep audience entertained.

The story is about a young girl named Riley. She is an 11-year-old hockey fan and overall happy kid. Her family moves to San Francisco and she has to leave her old life behind. In her head, where her emotions control her personality, Sadness and Joy accidently get launched out the hub, where they control her. They have to travel extremely far back to the hub. Will it be too late when they get there? Her only emotions at work are fear, disgust, and anger!

This film is nothing but beautiful and thought provoking. The idea is so original, and the way they pull it off is right on target. The animation is exquisite. I love how they animate and illustrate each emotion to represent its character, down to the smallest detail. There is no possibility left behind. The story takes many twists and turns, making sure the viewer never anticipates the ending. The directing and producing are wonderful. The camera shots are amazing and really explore the scenes and the world around the characters.

My favorite scene is when Riley’s emotions first come to life. She is a newborn and her first emotion is Joy, then Sadness and the rest come afterwards. The thing I like about this most is that it shows that Riley is different. Usually a baby is immediately sad, not joyful. But this shows Riley is really a happy and cheerful girl. It is a very important scene and really takes a look at Riley herself, deeper than the viewer originally thinks when they first see it.

The only thing parents should be worried about in this movie is that it might be a bit too dramatic for little kids and it might be difficult for them to understand the concept of these emotions. So, I recommend it for ages four to eighteen and I give it five out of five stars because, over all, it is a beautifully executed original story.

The Inside Out DVD Combo includes a blu-ray disc, a blu-ray bonus feature disc and a regular DVD with bonus features. Bonus materials on DVD deserve a special mention. If you would like to see the movie with the comments from the creators, you can turn that feature on and immediately see the story from a different prospective. I most liked the fact how you are truly discovering the hidden story behind the one on the screen.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

This Halloween, skip the spooky ingredients with treats found at Whole Foods For the Whole Family even the dogs!

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For many kids, Halloween is the best day of the year, and it’s easy to see why – they can be whatever they want and score a sack full of candy in the same night! But for parents who are looking to raise healthier ghouls and goblins, Halloween can bring a lot more “trick” than “treat,” especially given growing concerns around artificial ingredients and food allergies.

 

At Whole Foods Market, there’s no need to worry about what’s lurking in your kids’ treats. Our quality standards prohibit the use of artificial colorings, sweeteners and preservatives found in most Halloween candies.  Here are just a few of the ones you can find this year:

 

  • Sweet Candy Company Candy Corn (SRP: $1.99) The first candy corn that meets Whole Foods Market’s strict quality and ingredient standards. Unlike conventional candy corn, they’re made with tapioca syrup instead of high-fructose corn syrup, and get their color from natural juices instead of synthetic dyes. Gluten-free, kosher and made with non-GMO ingredients.
  • Glee Gum Pops (SRP: $4.49) The only natural gum-filled lollipops on the market, these goodies come in kid-friendly Sweet Strawberry, Crisp Green Apple and Juicy Orange flavors.
  • Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears Trick or Treat Packs (SRP: $7.49) Made with 90 percent organic ingredients, including organic tapioca syrup and real organic fruit juices, these gummies come in four fun flavors: Blueberry, Cherry, Lime and Tangerine. Gluten-free certified, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free.
  • Annie’s Halloween Bunny Grahams (SRP: $5.99) Single-serving packets contain a mixture of honey and chocolate flavored bunny grahams made with organic wheat.
  • Snyder’s of Hanover Halloween Mini Pretzel Snack Sacks (SRP: $3.99) Snack-sized packets of mini pretzels that feature a fun monster design. Fat-free and sugar-free.
  • Lucy’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (SRP $7.99) Individually wrapped packets of allergy-friendly cookies, perfect for gluten-sensitive tummies. Certified vegan, kosher and Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • TruJoy Sweets Organic Original Fruit Chews (SRP: $6.79) Made with all organic ingredients and flavored with real fruit juices. Like the Surf Sweet picks, one percent of sales is donated to environmental causes. Gluten-free, vegan, kosher and Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • Yummy Earth Organic Pops (SRP: $4.99) Lollipops made with real fruit juice and delivers 100 percent daily dose of Vitamin C. Gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free and casein-free.

For the grown-up goblins:

  • Torie & Howard Organic Halloween Candy (SRP: $5.99) Assortment of individually wrapped morsels in flavors like Pomegranate & Nectarine, Blood Orange & Honey, Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey and C’Anjou Pear & Cinnamon— and they’re only 12 calories each! A portion of sales goes to Autism Speaks to support Autism awareness and research. Gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, soy-free and casein-free.
  • Alter-Eco Organic Truffles (SRP: $7.99) Dark, smooth fair trade chocolate sourced from Ecuador and light milk chocolate from Peru surrounds these sumptuous bite-sized delights. Each truffle is filled with a decadent, silky filling of milk, cacao and organic coconut oil  (instead of kernel oil). And they’re all wrapped individually in compostable packaging.. Available in Velvet (milk chocolate) and Black (dark chocolate.)

I had the opportunity to try out a few of the great items mentioned above and here are SoCal City Kids Favorites:

For your furry trick-or-treater:

  • Fruitables Skinny Minis Pumpkin Spice Chewy Dog Treats (SRP: $4.99) Don’t forget your four-legged loved ones! These soft and chewy treats deliver amazing aroma and taste while also being low in calories and high in antioxidants and fiber so you’re pooch can join the fun, too. Gluten-free.

These were a hit with our pup, Bink! He loves them!

Surfs and Sweet Spooky Spiders (SRP $2.39) All of the same great flavors from the brand’s fruity bears, but in spooky spider form. Surf Sweets also donates 1 percent of every purchase to environmental causes. Gluten-free certified, dairy-free and nut-free.

My son loves these ones and likes that fact that they are in Spider form instead of bears!

And…my favorite is……

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These are soooo goood!

  • Justin’s Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (SRP: $4.99) These individually wrapped goodies are made with pure peanut butter that never contains hydrogenated oils or other artificial stabilizers, and dipped in premium quality, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa.. Available in Dark and Milk Chocolate. Gluten-free certified and OU Kosher.

Find all these products and many more this Halloween at a Whole Foods Market near you!

Self Disclosure: I received a free e-gift card to pick up my favorites! No other compensation was received. Photo credit goes to the following brands: Justin’s Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Surfs and Sweet, and Fruitables.

 

Adventures Of The Wiener Dog Extraordinaire Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund

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I have to admit that about a month ago, I was quite unaware of Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund.  I had seen a cute dog youtube video on Facebook with a dachshund dressed up as a Minion and I laughed out loud. But, then my son started to tell me about this really cool dachshund named Crusoe that has these really cool youtube videos. Well..Crusoe is the same as the cute dog I see regularly in my Facebook feed.  Now…get this?! He even has a book!

His first book is titled Adventures Of The Wiener Dog Extraordinaire Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund By Ryan Beauchesne. My son excitiedly told me that Crusoe is even going on a book tour and his second stop is Los Angeles.

So, like any blogger Mom…I just had to request the book and see what the hype is all about! I received the book, which my son quickly took ownership of…but I have to say..I am impressed. First of all it is divided into Seasons starting with my favorite: Summer. This book has lots of great photos, is entertaining and even has some recipes! You sure do learn a lot about this cute dachshund! It’s a real must-read! It’s quite affordable too! I saw that it is available on Amazon.com for  under $10.00. Now, that is a deal!

Find out more about Crusoe and his book by going here.

My son and I are quite excited about his upcoming Book Tour, which started today!

10/28 – Barnes & Noble Tribeca (NYC)

10/29 – The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, CA)

11/5 – Books Inc. at the Marina (San Francisco, CA)

11/8 – Half Price Books (Dallas, TX)

11/10 – Barnes & Noble (Atlanta, GA)

I guess you know where we will be tomorrow night!

Self Disclosure: I received a free book for review purposes. Photo and Video Credit: Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund.

Howlin’ Good Pumpkin Dessert Jacs Dog Cookies will be a hit with your Dog this Halloween!

Fall is here and it’s time to celebrate with your best friends! Make these fun and soft dog cookies using Bil-Jac Dessert Jacs. The recipe is simple and easy!  Reward your dogs’ best Halloween tricks with these yummy cookie treats!  But don’t be tricked yourself, Bil-Jac Pumpkin Pie Flavored Dessert Jacs are only available for a limited time at PetSmart!

Howlin Good Pumpkin Dessert Jacs Dog Cookies

I just received samples of the Bil-Jac Pumpkin Pie Flavored Dessert Jacs and my pup Bink loves them! I can’t wait to bake the cookies in the recipe on Halloween!

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Bink quickly gets the yummy Bil-Jac Pumpkin Pie Flavored Dessert Jacs out of his treat dispensing ball. 

Find them at a PetSmart near you!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this holiday featured post. Recipe: courtesy of Bil-Jac.

Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Library offer Pass to the Pacific

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Library card holders with the Long Beach Public Library are eligible to receive the Pass to the Pacific coupon. The coupon offers $10 off adult and senior admission and $5 off child admission to the Aquarium of the Pacific. ScholarShare and the Aquarium are committed to inspiring a lifetime of learning by enabling kids and teens to read with a reward. Guests will get to enjoy over 11,000 animals and touch sharks and rays, all at a discounted rate.

 

The ScholarShare College Savings Plan provides families with a tax-advantaged way to save for their children’s education. Over the course of the next year, ScholarShare will provide opportunities for Aquarium visitors to learn more about how they can begin planning for their child’s future with the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan – with information available at selected Aquarium events and information online. ScholarShare and the Aquarium are committed to inspiring a lifetime of learning. For more information, visit www.ScholarShare.com.

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The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, the interactive Shark Lagoon and Lorikeet Forest exhibits, and the new Jellies exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. The Aquarium has won a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums, as awarded by TripAdvisor® travelers. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits. For more information, visit www.aquariumofpacific.org or call 562-590-3100.

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific.

Celebrity Stylist Janet Zeitoun Debuts New! Hair Care Brand SOTAH State of the Art Hair (SOTAH) Revitalizes Hair Texture in Just One Step

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Janet Zeitoun, world renowned celebrity hair stylist with clients from the late Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson to Denzel Washington and Natalie Cole, globally debuts her first hair care line. As a leader in the industry for over two decades, Janet Zeitoun’s NEW! SOTAH (State of the Art Hair) hair care line boasts luxurious salon-quality products that offer perfectly moisturized locks and healthy, natural shine. NEW! SOTAH hair care line consists of three key products that deliver not only the ultimate level of moisture to strands, but repair damaged hair and protect against further harm. From heat styling, harsh chemical treatments (like Keratin) to bleaching and coloring, hair can be put through the proverbial ringer. The exclusive formulas found in SOTAH products quench hair and bring vitality, vibrance and pure shine back to each and every strand. Enriched with vitamins and minerals, the line is sulfate-free and infused with restorative ingredients making it safe for all hair types and textures. With five years of extensive scientific development and over 100 complex trials to achieve the perfect formula, SOTAH’s unique delivery system includes everything you need to help combat hair deficiencies. The secret behind the success of SOTAH is the diverse combination of amino acid derived ingredients. This discipline creates the necessary building blocks to gift the hair follicles and shafts ultimate moisture and conditioning benefits without leaving hair weighed down and limp. The exclusive formula recognizes where hair needs hydration and bonds to the strands to seal in moisture and create natural shine; repairing even the most unruly textures, in just one use. The proof is in the results. “Through all of my years in the hair industry, I knew there was something missing in the products I was using on my clients,” states SOTAH creator and celebrity hairstylist Janet Zeitoun. “I made it my mission to find the solution and provide people with multiple hair types, including those chemically treated, the answer to beautiful, manageable hair. With a simple approach to the everyday needs of busy people – a wash and go philosophy that offers a gorgeous end result is what prompted my years of research bringing SOTAH products to market.” Performance tested and approved for all hair types and multiple hair textures, SOTAH products have proven to work above and beyond the promised benefits. Proven time and again, SOTAH products assist in extending the life of chemical treatments like Keratin by keeping hair balanced in nutrients and moisture, thus saving you time and money on maintenance. From cleansing, softening and detangling to everything in between – all you need is SOTAH in your daily hair care routine.

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“I didn’t just create ‘products’ – what I created are must-have products…” – Janet Zeitoun.

I agree! I received samples of the products in this line-up and they really are a beauty must-have! My favorite is the Conditioning Shampoo! I have color treated hair and it left my hair feeling clean and very soft! I really did notice a different after using these hair products.

More info about the line up:
CONDITIONING SHAMPOO: Regardless of how difficult your hair texture is, NEW! SOTAH Conditioning Shampoo will make it more manageable. This multi-tasking, sulfate-free, amino acid based shampoo, simultaneously cleans and conditions by depositing directly into the hair cuticles. Co-washing is the first step in bringing hydration back into your hair from the roots to the ends, while deeply cleansing at the same time. With the ultimate ‘wash-n-wear’ attitude, the end result is supple, sheen infused and manageable – passing the toughest test of all – the air dry test. With extraordinary levels of moisture retention, NEW! SOTAH Conditioning Shampoo reduces mechanical damage caused by combing and/or brushing and helps to prevent breakage and split ends. Highly concentrated, this product offers an increased number of conventional washings per bottle. Paraben & sulfate free; safe for all hair types, $22.00.

MOISTURE BOOST CONDITIONER: Moisture is one of the key elements to achieving great performing hair when properly conditioned. NEW! SOTAH Moister Boost Conditioner has been formulated to deliver smooth, hydrating results to all textures with nourishing coconut oil, kale oil and aloe vera. In combination with ingredients like Panthenol & other naturally-occurring humectants and emollients, it helps to fortify and revitalize even the most challenged hair. With hydrophilic and hygroscopic chemical structured ingredients, water is attracted and binds to molecules, thus offering lasting moisture. Hair becomes stronger, protected and balanced; light reflects gorgeously, offering a natural gloss and shine married with static-free manageability. When used in conjunction with SOTAH Conditioning Shampoo, your hair receives an upgrade in hydration. Perfect for damaged hair that needs some special attention. Paraben free; safe for all hair types, $22.00.

OIL/CRÈME THERAPY: If your hair is combating the drying affects due to environmental wear, bleaching, coloring and straightening treatments, NEW! SOTAH Oil/Crème Therapy minimizes damage and locks in moisture needed for healthy, beautiful hair. Obliterate frizz and achieve the ultimate smooth and satiny finish you’ve always dreamed of with this product’s mixture of coconut oil and kale extracts. Oil/Crème Therapy the unique combination of both oil and select conditioning ingredients, when applied sparingly to strands, offers a flexible, touchable feel with maximum shine payoff. Paraben free; safe for all hair types, can be used wet or dry, $26.00.

The SOTAH Hair Care Line is available for purchase at http://www.sotahhair.com.

 
ABOUT SOTAH: SOTAH (acronym for STATE OF THE ART HAIR) is an expression of beauty and lifestyle. With a discerning whisk of a few strands, a new era of style can be born. It can mimic the past, cultivate the present, and sculpt the future. Before a strand is brushed, SOTAH philosophy begins from within. SOTAH prides itself in establishing a healthy foundation for achieving individual goals in hair care, trend, and style. SOTAH is the balance of chemistry, design,
challenges of the modern day individual. Hair has been an expression since the beginning of time. SOTAH will always strive to continue that expression. SOTAH is not about wearing a style – it’s about wearing you at your best ABOUT JANET ZEITOUN: For nearly 20 years, Janet Zeitoun has been designing the hair of some of the world’s most famous superstars. Janet Jackson has said, “Her [Zeitoun’s] talent is rare and exceptional.” Zeitoun’s longtime clients also include Denzel Washington and Natalie Cole, and the late Michael Jackson. As one of Hollywood’s top hairstylists, she has traveled the globe alongside A-List celebrities, influencers and executives who trust in the unparalleled skills and integrity of Zeitoun. Her encyclopedic knowledge of products and techniques are the signature of her genius.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to post. Photo Credit and press info was provided.

 

Five Painless Ways To Dramatically Improve Your Looks From SmileSimplicity

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No pain, no gain?  The old adage isn’t necessarily true when it comes to improving your looks.   Here from SmileSimplicity are five positively painless, needle- and knife-free ways to up your game.   Some are inexpensive, temporary tricks that can be used just when you need them, while others offer lasting results that justify the investment.

 

  1. At-home facelift: The NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device is a microcurrent facial toner that is FDA-cleared for facial stimulation. This petite, portable device gently stimulates the larger surface areas of the face to improve your appearance and provide a 5-minute facial-lift at home, or wherever your travels take you.

It’s a practical and painless way to get a more youthful and beautiful look without resorting to time-consuming, costly invasive procedures.  It may be light as a feather, but the NuFace Mini is a heavyweight when it comes to results.  It is clinically-tested for improved facial contour, skin tone and reduced wrinkles in as little as 5 minutes a day.  In a recent clinical study: 85% of users experienced significant improvements in facial contour, 80% said their face felt more toned and 73% reported seeing significant improvements in skin tone.  Available at www.beautybrands.com

 

2.  Shapewear:   Flatten your stomach, smooth thighs, lift the derrriere…no nips or tucks needed!   Shapewear has come a long way since it was first introduced, with high tech yet breathable and lightweight compression fabrics.  The key, according to Lori Caden, co-founder of Belly Bandit, is to target problem areas separately.  An all-over bodysuit-type shaping garment is usually not the solution for most women.  www.bellybandit.com

  1. Total Smile Makeover: Porcelain veneers are the be all and end-all of smile improvement solutions, because not only do they whiten teeth permanently, but they also correct chips, cracks and other imperfections.  Don’t like the idea of drilling down natural tooth structure (or the anesthesia involved)?   Consider SmileSimplicity, a new generation of porcelain veneers that does not require any sensitive tooth structure to be drilled away and thus no shots.   www.smilesimplicity.com.

 

  1. Non-surgical eyelid lift: Eye Magic lifts droopy upper eyelids without surgery, using medical grade, hypoallergenic tape strips.   They’re a great and affordable way to look refreshed for a special occasion a photo shoot or after a late night out.  They stay on 12 to 18 hours, and some even use them every day.www.eyemagic.net.

 

  1. Bye bye, fat cells….later, lipo! BTL VANQUISH ME is a promising new treatment that uses radio frequency waves to target fat cells, heating them up to cause cell death without damaging skin or muscle.   The non-invasive procedure is cleared for non-surgical circumferential reduction of the abdominal area.  The device never touches the skin, but is suspended about 1” above for treatments which last about 30 minutes with no downtime required afterward.   4 – 6 sessions are recommended and patients have reported achieving 60% fat loss in targeted areas.   To find a doctor, visit www.btlaesthetics.com.

 

Credit:  SmileSimplicity.

 

Healthy Halloween Treats Spooky recipes courtesy of Terra’s Kitchen

Of course, Halloween is all about the candy, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all your kids need to eat on the big day. This year, you can keep them properly fueled, while still serving up the spooks, with the below healthy snacks. Try them after school, after trick or treating, or as Halloween party treats. And since all of these are easy to create, kids can help with the assembly for a fun family activity!

The following recipes are courtesy of Terra’s Kitchen.

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CANDY CORN FRUIT SKEWERS

  • White: pear, jicama, banana
  • Orange: cantaloupe, apricot, mango
  • Yellow: pineapple

Directions: Choose one of each color fruit. Cut progressively larger size triangles and thread onto lollipop sticks to look like oversize candy corn. Served chilled.

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KIWI SPIDERS

  • Kiwis
  • Mini pretzels

Directions: Carefully peel kiwi with a vegetable peeler. Cut off a small lengthwise piece (the belly of the spider) so it sits flat on a plate. Break mini pretzels into curved pieces and insert 3 legs on each side. Carve out little indentations for eyes and serve. (You might also try raisins or chocolate chips, if you can figure out a way to make them stick!).

Credit: Terra’s Kitchen.